Up-regulation of Tim-3 is associated with poor prognosis of patients with colon cancer

Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015 Jul 1;8(7):8018-27. eCollection 2015.


Tim-3 (T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain 3), belonging to the member of the novel Tim family, has been confirmed that it plays a critical negative role in regulating the immune responses against viral infection and carcinoma. Recently, it has also been reported that the over-expression of Tim-3 is associated with poor prognosis in solid tumors. However, the role of Tim-3 in colorectal cancer remains largely unknown. In the current study, we aim to investigate the expression of Tim-3 in colorectal carcinoma and discuss the relationship between Tim-3 expression and colon cancer prognosis, thus speculating the possible role of Tim-3 in colon cancer progression. Colon cancer tissues and paired normal tissue were obtained from 201 patients with colon cancer for preparation of tissue microarray. Tim-3 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemical staining. The Tim-3 expression level was evaluated by q-RT-PCR, western blot and immunocytochemistry in four colon cancer cell lines (HT-29, HCT116, LoVo, SW620). Tim-3 was expressed in 92.5% tumor tissue samples and 86.5% corresponding normal tissue samples. Expression of Tim-3 was significantly higher in tumor tissues than in normal tissues (P < 0.0001). Tim-3 expression in colon cancer tissues is in correlation with colon cancer lymphatic metastasis and TNM (P < 0.0001). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that Tim-3 expression could be a potential independent prognostic factor for colon cancer patients (P < 0.0001). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis result showed that patients with higher Tim-3 expression had a significantly shorter survival time than those with lower Tim-3 expression patients. Our results indicated that Tim-3 might participate in the tumorgenesis of colon cancer and Tim-3 expression might be a potential independent prognostic factor for patients with colorectal cancer.

Keywords: Tim-3; colon cancer; overall survival; prognosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colonic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • HCT116 Cells
  • HT29 Cells
  • Hepatitis A Virus Cellular Receptor 2
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Up-Regulation


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • HAVCR2 protein, human
  • Hepatitis A Virus Cellular Receptor 2
  • Membrane Proteins